UCSF fires Title IX director for ‘serious misconduct,’ increases sexual harassment prevention efforts

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UCSF/Courtesy

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UCSF fired its Title IX director, Cristina Pérez-Abelson, for “serious misconduct” earlier this year, after several whistleblower complaints and an investigation found that she instructed her employees to withhold files from an auditor and change the dates on case files in her office.  

Since Pérez-Abelson’s termination in April, UCSF’s Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination hired a new Title IX director, Nyoki T. Sacramento, according to a UCSF statement released Wednesday. Sacramento now works closely with Kathleen Salvaty, who became the Title IX director for the entire UC system in February.

Pérez-Abelson could not be reached for comment as of press time.

News of Pérez-Abelson’s termination comes at a time when the campus faces several sexual harassment lawsuits filed in the past few months. In November, an employee from the UCSF Women’s Health Center sued her former supervisor and the UC Board of Regents for alleged sexual harassment and religious discrimination. Three weeks later, a UCSF postdoctoral researcher filed a sexual harassment and hostile work environment lawsuit against a UCSF professor and the UC regents.

“We are committed to a UCSF community that is free from harassment and discrimination, and we encourage all those who feel they have experienced harassment to report it,” UCSF said in the statement. “We have been aggressively working to get to zero incidents at UCSF. … However, there is still more work to be done.”

The campus’s Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination has taken several measures to improve sexual harassment prevention efforts — the campus has increased its staff and implemented additional mandatory education and training for the UCSF community, according to the UCSF statement.

“The revelations of serious sexual misconduct across the nation over the last several months have underscored its devastating impact on individuals and Organizations,” UCSF said in the statement.  “These highly-publicized instances of workplace sexual harassment and sexual assault call on all institutions, including UCSF, to redouble our efforts to end abusive behaviors.”

Malini Ramaiyer is the city news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @malinisramaiyer.